Chalk up another shutout for No. 3 women’s hockey as they defeat Crusaders 8-0


Riley Robinson

The Huskies dominate Holy Cross in home-and-home series, 8-0.

George Barker, news staff

Look out Hockey East, the Northeastern women’s hockey team has now scored 28 unanswered goals spanning six games on the back of over 300 straight shutout minutes. The Holy Cross Crusaders were today’s victim, with the Huskies defeating them handily by a tune of 8-0 with advantages in every meaningful stat. NU outshot the Crusaders 46-17, scored three power-play goals, blocked 15 shots compared to 11 Crusader blocks and had 37 faceoff wins out of 57 showdowns in the dot. 

The usual suspects shined for NU (12-1-1, 12-1-1 HEA), with the combination of their first line of forwards and first pairing of blueliners accounting for 15 points. Junior winger Chloé Aurard notched her first hat trick of the campaign to go along with an assist, while her junior linemate Alina Mueller earned four assists of her own. Redshirt junior Maureen Murphy followed up her recent hat trick with a goal and two assists, while senior blueliner Skylar Fontaine grabbed a goal and two assists. Her senior D-partner Brooke Hobson had two apples as well. The five of them were on the ice together for four goals, and basically five as only Mueller was on the bench for the opening tally. 

“My philosophy has always been if you can load up one line and make a really dangerous line, I like to do that,” said head coach Dave Flint. “Every time they step on the ice, they make teams sweat. They work hard, they’re starting to get some chemistry now. Maureen is getting more games with them, and they’re really starting to click.”

The core of NU doesn’t just include their top five skaters, of course, but also senior netminder Aerin Frankel, the reigning Hockey East Goaltender of the Month. Frankel nabbed her third straight shutout by stopping 17 Holy Cross (3-11-0, 3-11-0 HEA) shots, including a few highlight saves to bail out her team on the penalty kill. This shutout gave her a tie for most shutouts in Hockey East conference history. 

“The team plays loose because they have confidence in their goaltending,” Flint said. “When a team doesn’t have confidence in their goaltending, they play totally different… [Frankel’s play allows them to] play a little bit more wide open, take some chances.”

With their latest dominant victory, the Husky win streak has been pushed to eight in a row. Their win streak was slightly dampened by a tie against UNH (5-10-1, 5-10-1 HEA) back on Jan. 9, but the Huskies have not lost since their second game of the season against Boston College (12-3-0, 12-3-0 HEA). 

“I see us getting better every day. I always tell them this is the time of year we have to be hitting our stride,” Flint said. “We did last year, we have to do it again this year.”

It only took 43 seconds for the Huskies to hop on the board for a 1-0 lead as Aurard got her first of three tallies by redirecting a shot from Fontaine through Holy Cross junior netminder Jada Brenon’s five-hole. Hobson and Fontaine picked up assists on the opening marker.

Murphy gave the Huskies their second goal halfway through the first as the combination of the top forward and defenseman lines struck again. Murphy’s goal came as Brenon couldn’t control the rebound of a hard shot from Aurard, giving Murphy a chance to pot her fifth goal in five games as a Husky. 

The rebounds came back to bite Brenon again two minutes later as the top five skaters of the Huskies continued to dominate. This time it was Aurard who got to send a rebound into an empty net, as Mueller’s pseudo-pass, pseudo-shot off Brenon found Aurard stationed out front. Aurard kicked the loose puck to herself and swiftly sent it into an empty net for her seventh goal of the campaign and an extremely early 3-0 NU lead. The goal was the first of three power-play markers for NU today, and it gave Aurard the team lead in goals for the season. 

“We were getting a good net drive. We were using a good low to high in the offensive zone and then getting to the front of the net for tips and rebounds. I told them, ‘If you want to score goals in this game, you have to get in front of the net,’” Flint said. “That’s where 90% of the goals are scored. You got to get in those dirty areas, you got to take a cross check to the back or a slash … That’s what they did tonight, and they were rewarded with 8 goals.”

Aurard completed her hat trick less than halfway through the second period, locking in her eighth goal of the season on the power play. Again, the Huskies capitalized on a rebound, and again, the Mueller line along with Hobson and Fontaine were on the ice. Murphy crashed the Holy Cross cage hard, but was denied on a short side shot. She collided with Holy Cross freshman defender Vaia Graves on the way, who then collided with Brenon, which gave Aurard another wide open net to shoot at when she was able to grab the puck in the high slot. 

“I always harp on her to shoot the puck more and she shot it tonight. It was a miracle, it’s weird how the puck goes in when you shoot it,” Flint said. “She was opportunistic, and she’s got two pretty good linemates helping out there.”

With three minutes left in the second, Fontaine added another point to her day’s total and secured NU’s third power-play goal of the game. Mueller earned her fourth assist of the contest on the tally, giving her a considerable team lead in that category with 15.

The onslaught didn’t stop there with Knoll notching her sixth goal of the season two minutes later to give the scoresheet another name to keep track of. Knoll’s first goal, like many of NU’s today, came from a rebound chance. Knoll grabbed another tally just under 14 minutes into the third with a short-handed snipe from the left faceoff circle which pushed the score to an ugly 7-0 in NU’s favor. 

The Huskies picked up one final score before the game ended as with less than two minutes to go. Sophomore winger Peyton Anderson cashed in on a rebound from junior wing Michaela Sindoris, sending Brenon home with one final bad memory of a loose rebound. Anderson’s goal was her second of the season, and it pushed Brenon’s final statline to a rather depressing eight goals allowed with 38 saves, good for a .826 save percentage. 

The Huskies will again face the Crusaders at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon for the final game of their home-and-home series.